Stowmarket looking for FA Vase joy as Harpenden travel to Suffolk
Stowmarket Town manager Rick Andrews hopes his luck in the Buildbase FA Vase can turn this weekend, writes Alex Moss.
The Old Gold and Blacks host Harpenden Town, from the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division, in the first round at Greens Meadow tomorrow (3pm).
Stow received a bye through the first two qualifying rounds of the national competition, owing to their third-place finish in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division in 2017-18, and will be playing in the first round for the first time since 2003.
Andrews recorded his first win in the FA Vase last season, beating lower league Team Bury 7-0 in the first qualifying round, before being edged out by Enfield 5-4 in a dramatic tie at Greens Meadow.
With a place in the second round (last 128) up for grabs, a round which the club last appeared in back in 2000, the Stow boss is hopeful of a reversal in fortunes in the Vase.
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“We’d like to go as far as we possibly can in the Vase,” Andrews said.
“I’ve never had the best of luck in the cups, so it would be nice to get through and give back to the club as well.
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“Obviously, our main target this season is the league, but we’d like to do well in any of the cups.”
Stow picked up their first cup win of the season earlier this week, beating higher league Mildenhall Town 4-1 in the first round of the Suffolk Premier Cup on Tuesday night.
The result followed on from an impressive second-half showing in the 1-1 draw with Premier Division leaders Histon at the weekend, and Andrews is delighted with the reaction from his players to the 2-1 defeat at Haverhill Rovers a fortnight ago.
“I’m pleased with the way that we’ve responded,” he said. “I thought we’d lost our identity a little bit.
“I’ve always said, since the day I came to the club, that I wanted to try and play attractive football, and I thought we’d lost our way.
“We’ve addressed that in training and we’re now looking forward again.”